Paul Barber, managing director, Rapid Response Solutions, welcomes a Hydra-Slide unit to Portsmouth, UK headquarters.
Paul Barber, managing director, Rapid Response Solutions, welcomes a Hydra-Slide unit to Portsmouth, UK headquarters.

pPortsmouth, UK-based lifting, transport and storage specialist Rapid Response Solutions (RRS) has passed its final audit and been named a full member of the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA), established across the globe as the leading representative body for all those involved in the lifting industry worldwide.
RRS started its journey with LEEA as a development member following an initial audit two years ago and wasted no time in meeting the stringent criteria for full membership, which is only available to companies that are ‘engaged for profit in the verification of lifting equipment, and which, in the opinion of the [LEEA] directors, is competent and can give an adequate service’.

Paul Barber, managing director at RRS, said: “After the first audit they set us a training matrix to help develop our staff. We then had to select a certain number of skilled staff in each discipline to take LEEA training courses. We’re proud to have marked successful completion of this rigorous audit process and welcome the association’s [annual] follow-up audits to ensure we continue to meet and exceed these high standards.”

Seven RRS employees have taken LEEA training courses in a variety of subject matter over the period. Barber lauded the association’s comprehensive programmes that cover manufacture, assembly, and testing through to examination and certification of lifting equipment. Health, safety and legal requirements are also included, he pointed out. Advanced programmes were recently accredited by City & Guilds, which is backed by a Royal Charter and has a long history of shaping skilled workforces.

Barber said: “They aren’t just a ‘turn up and pass’ type of course. A lot of work goes into getting the qualifications. The feedback from all our guys that have taken courses was very positive; the facilities, course structure and presentation materials are first-class. The process to gain membership has thusly been hugely rewarding but the exciting part is we can now begin to leverage the benefits of illustrious full member status.”

He added: “Being a member of LEEA gives us access to a wealth of lifting know-how, backed by technical ability from members with varying skills across the world. Eventually, I would like to be involved with the technical committees and at some point join the board. I have worked in this industry for almost 30 years now and have a lot of experience to share.”

Over 60% of UK-headquartered LEEA’s global membership is now outside of the home nations. A major focus of the LEEA team in recent months has been the promotion of the association and its members to end user customers. LEEA’s endeavours to this end and its increasing presence at industry events across the world further align with strategy at RRS.

Barber explained: “We carry out projects globally so having an internationally-recognised accreditation is a benefit. If international clients have projects in the UK it also helps them recognise companies who are suitably qualified. LEEA has the task of unifying legislation between countries and bringing all countries into line from a health and safety standpoint, which is something that interests me greatly. Put simply, if each country worked to the same regulations the industry would become a safer place to work.”

RRS offers a range of products and services, many of which are not lifting-centric, yet Barber said LEEA membership will be noted across the board as it demonstrates the company’s commitment to training its staff to the highest level and exposes working practices to audit by industry leaders. “Additionally,” he added, “we are unique as such a multifaceted business in gaining LEEA membership, which elevates our status above competing solution providers.”

LEEA also organises an annual trade show, LiftEx, where RRS, as it did in 2016, will raise its profile as the only international sales partner of the Canadian manufacturer of hydraulic skidding systems, Hydra-Slide, this November. A range of turntables and climbing jacks will be presented to the Telford audience.